Lost in the Amazon Basin

Trip Start Sep 05, 2006
1
63
90
Trip End Ongoing


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, December 29, 2007

So, I spent Christmas alone this year, but I guarantee you I spent Christmas with more animal friends and creepy crawlies than you. I have been wanting to come to Iquitos for a long time, and get lost in the Amazon basin. Im not quite sure what Im trying to get so far away from, but definitely got very far away from everything this past week. Iquitos is already a bit of a frontier town. There are no roads that go here. You have to come by boat or by plane. In order to get to the amazon camp where I was I had to take a small bus another 2 hours away from Iquitos...there are roads that lead various places from Iquitos, they just don't connect up to any other major part of the country. Once we got to the small town of Nauta on the Rio Amazonas proper I got on a boat for a 2hr cruise up the Amazon. I was greeted by the Olmeno who would be my guide and we crossed a small land barrier and then loaded onto a canoe fitted with a 5 horsepower motor. We crossed another river and lagoon, walked across another land barrier, and crossed 2 more lagoons before we got to the Emerald Forrest Camp. The camp was pretty grassroots, and that's exactly what I wanted, no luxury, no show, just the waterways and crazy strange Amazon wildlife.

My trip initially began in true Peruvian fashion. I was loaded onto a bus in Iqiutos and told that someone would meet me in Nauta to put me on a boat and get me to the camp. Of course, nobody was in Nauta and I was left on the side of the road with a 10 gallon water jug and a 5 gallon gasoline jug plus my personal belongings. I figured that with this much gasoline I could pretty much get myself anywhere, so I briefly contemplated going straight away to Colombia. Well, that was precicely when Andres who had loaded me on the bus came running down the road to get me. Apparently he was unable to get in contact with his man in Nauta, he said because of la Navidad and it was likely that Chamo who was supposed to greet me was still up drinking with his friends. This shook my confidence in my tour agency of choice briefly, but I was reassured by the fact that Andres himself had made the whole 2hr journey in a taxi, which costs a lot more, in order to ensure that I was taken care of. Eventually Chamo showed up and got our river transportation sorted out. As we pushed away from Nauta, Andres shouted to Chamo to tell my guide once we reached him that "el flaco alto alto quiere veer todo!" or " the tall and skinny wants to see everything" Ok, confidence level rising.

The most comical part of this trip was our camping experience. The day after my arrival, I wanted to get even further away and asked Olmeno if that was possible. That afternoon, Olmeno and another young boy led me some 6 kilometres into the forest away from the camp to a small lagoon where the brough people like myself who just simply couldn't get far enough away. The place was beautiful and the walk was incredible. There were monkeys flying out of the trees, sometimes dropping as much as 20 meters to catch a branch. My amazement at the agility of these monkey and the crazy plant life made the 90 degree heat and 90% humidity bearable. This was all in long pants, a long sleeve shirt and rubber boots of course. The mosquitos are so bad that it is absolutely essential to have long clothing on. The plan was to fish for our dinner and dine on fresh fish. Well, we made two attempts at failing this endeavour. It took us the better part of two hours to catch two relatively small fish for the three of us to eat. Returning to set up camp and cook dinner just as it was getting dark, Olmeno pulled out the lighter and to his, and my dismay, the lighter didn't work. That's it, no dinner. As darkness found us, there wasn't much to do except go to bed. The mosquitoes were so horrendous that this was a very appealing option. I will say with complete confidence that this was the worst I have ever seen mosquitoes in my life. We rigged up our hammocks and mosquito nets, and settled in for the night. Settling into my hammock for a nights sleep in the jungle sounded so appealing until I noticed the thick dark cloud of mosquitoes who had actually been trapped inside my mosquito net. Preparing for battle, I dove in and began to commit and act of mosquito genocide. It was a great service to mankind what I did that night, something the ICC could probably convict me of genocide for. Later in the trip I was also fortunate enough to be bitten by a wasp and a baby piranha. I stayed away from the double fist sized tarantulas though, because these ones were apparently the very dangerous type. I was ensured that these ones would give me 24hrs of pain if they bit me.

This trip may sound like hell to some folks, but for me, it was perfect! Seeing the sloths, pink river dolphins, playing with an otter and canoeing through the tiny waterways of this region is an experience unique to this part of the world. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Kristina returns to Peru tomorrow and will be meeting me here in Iquitos. From here, the two of us and some friends plan on getting a three day boat that will takes us further into the frontier, Leticia Colombia.

Photos comming, I cant be bothered with this internet place anymore tonight

UPWARD AND ONWARD!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: